At least eight pro-Iran fighters were killed in US strikes on eastern Syria, a war monitor said Monday, after Washington carried out raids a day earlier in response to attacks on American forces.
The toll is “eight pro-Iran fighters dead, including at least one Syrian, and Iraqi nationals,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, following the strikes late Sunday on the Mayadeen and Albu Kamal areas of Syria’s eastern Deir Ezzor province near the Iraqi border.
The United States had carried out strikes against two Iran-linked sites in Syria in response to attacks on American forces, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Sunday.
It is the third time in less than three weeks that the US military has targeted locations in Syria it said were tied to Iran, which supports various armed groups that Washington blames for a spike in attacks on its forces in the Middle East.
“US military forces conducted precision strikes today on facilities in eastern Syria used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Iran-affiliated groups in response to continued attacks against US personnel in Iraq and Syria,” Austin said in a statement.
“The strikes were conducted against a training facility and a safe house near the cities of Albu Kamal and Mayadeen, respectively,” he said.
The Britain-based Observatory said the strikes completely destroyed a weapons depot in a town in the Albu Kamal countryside, reporting successive explosions due to ammunition catching fire.
Near Mayadeen, it said the strikes targeted a rocket launch platform.
The United States says the strikes are aimed at deterring attacks on American forces in Iraq and Syria — numbering more than 45 since October 17 — that have wounded dozens of US personnel.
The Observatory said pro-Iran fighters fired around 15 rockets at a base belonging to the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group in Syria’s Conoco gas field early Monday.
An Iraqi group said it carried out an overnight attack on the Green Village base in Syria’s Al-Omar oil field.
Both sites are in Deir Ezzor province.
The surge in attacks on US troops in recent weeks is linked to the war between Israel and Hamas, which began when the Palestinian militant group carried out a shock cross-border attack from Gaza on October 7.